Create Materials

A material is defined by a number of properties. The available options depend on the material type selected.

You can create a new material in the Material window. The Material window can be activated by selecting Tools from the pulldown menu, Palettes, and Materials. The Material window is displayed. Select the Create New Material button below the Available Materials in Drawing panel and a new material will be created. In the Material Editor section of the Materials window you can select a type of material and a template to create your new material. After you set these properties you can modify your new materials even more by using maps, such as texture map or procedural maps, Advanced Lighting Override, Material Scaling & Tiling, and Material Offset & Preview settings.

In the Material Editor panel, you can set the following properties:

One material is always available in a new drawing, GLOBAL; by default, it uses the Realistic template. This material is applied to all objects by default until the material is changed on an object. You can use this material as a base for creating a new material.

Depending on the type of material you use, one or more of the following properties may be available for you to refine your material.


The color of a material on an object is different in different areas of the object. For example, when you look at a red sphere, it does not appear to be uniformly red. The sides away from the light appear to be a darker red than the sides facing the light. The reflection highlight appears the lightest red. In fact, if the red sphere is very shiny, its highlight may appear to be white.

You can set three types of colors for a material that uses the Advanced or two colors for the Advanced Metal material type.

The Realistic and Realistic Metal templates use only Diffuse color.


The reflective quality of the material defines the degree of shininess or roughness. To simulate a shiny surface, the material has a small highlight, and its specular color is lighter, perhaps even white. A rougher material has a larger highlight that is closer to the main color of the material.

Other Properties

The following properties can be used to create specific effects:

See Also